Shaun Wane is hoping Joel Tomkins can kick on after his “best game since he came back”.
The forward returned to Wigan in 2014 - having left in 2011 for rugby union - but his second spell has been disrupted by various injuries.
Wane hailed the forward’s performance shortly after the 32-16 win against Widnes last Friday night.
And having reviewed footage over the weekend, he was full of praise for the 30-year-old.
Wane said: “It was his best game yet since he returned.
“He did a great job, even early on when we were 16-0 down, he made some strong carries and won quick play the balls, and those efforts have a big impact on a game.
“Defensively, he was very good and it’s great to see.”
Tomkins, who can operate in the back-row or the middle, has struggled in recent years to hit top gear and Wane added: “Joel is one of those players who needs to be playing.
“He needs games under his belt, and when he gets injuries and he’s out for 10 weeks, back in, out again... it’s tough for him to get to where he needs to be.
“But he’s started the year well and hopefully he can string some games together and keep getting better and better.”